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Missionary or spy? Did someone help Haywood flee?

Missionary or spy? Did someone help Haywood flee?

Author: Josy Joseph
Publication: DNA (Daily News & Analysis)
Date: August 20, 2008
URL: http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1184511&pageid=0

Was Kenneth Haywood, whose cover was blown by an extremely savvy terrorist group that hacked into his internet connection, an undercover operative? Was his intention in India just to evangelise people on behalf of his radical church group, or was he up to something more sinister? And who helped him flee the country despite a lookout notice?Were there higher-ups in the Indian establishment facilitating his exit?

Haywood, who flew out of the country from the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi on Sunday night, has left a trail of mysteries for the Indian security agencies to unravel.

The first of these is his links with a radical Christian group Door Christian Centre, which is part of the Pentacostal Christian Fellowship Ministries, also called the Potter's House. The group is known for its puritan approach and radical views and has been caught in several controversies in the US and elsewhere.

Haywood and his other foreign colleagues - Scott Grabowska, David Curwen-Walker - in Campbell White, the firm where he worked in Navi Mumbai, have been working actively for the Door Church in India. Haywood reportedly admitted to his church activities in Mumbai.

Investigators are wondering if their effort was just missionary work, or something more sinister.

The ATS, which put him through a polygraph test, does not believe he had anything to do with the Ahmedabad serial blasts or the email sent through his Wi-Fi internet connection, but is nevertheless not convinced about his real purpose in setting up shop in Navi Mumbai.

"Given the fact that we were always suspicious of his antecedents, it is really surprising that he managed to get away," says an official.

Also, if there is indeed a deep-rooted conspiracy involving powerful higher-ups to get Haywood out, then the next to vanish would be his computer systems.

Those systems would hold details that some would want to hide from the prying eyes of Indian investigators, sources say. Preliminary reports, however, suggest that there is nothing suspicious in the computers.

Though there are no clear confirmations, sources at Delhi airport and those aware of airport immigration admit that it is "impossible" for someone with a lookout notice against him to leave India without strong support. "We need to find those who facilitated his escape," says a source, who believes that it is imperative to know how Haywood got out of India, apart from understanding the forces working to hide his unstated motives in India.

There is a small section in the establishment which believes that Haywood may still be in India, but that is only conjecture.

Several sources in the security establishment have been very curious from the day
Haywood's Wi-Fi internet connection was hacked into by terrorists to send the warning mail just minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts. None of the sources are willing to apportion Haywood any role in the blasts, nor are they willing to give him a clean chit.

Now his "escape" from India has raised the hackles of those within the establishment who believe there was more to Haywood than being just a member of an evangelical church group working for a suspicious firm.

"If he was completely innocent he wouldn't have left India. What was it that he was trying to hide?" asks a senior official in the security establishment.

But for a man who has declared that terrorists will "win if they force you to hide", and who follows a regimented Christian church, it is surprising to jump the law and disappear. Many officials suspect that he may have been part of a larger operation than what may appear to investigators for now.

The controversial, almost militaristic, Christian Fellowship Ministries (CFM) was founded by a World War II veteran and it claims to operate in some 93 countries.

Investigators believe that Campbell White, the firm where Haywood worked, was a front for the CFM. And if its claims of teaching English to the BPO industry are true, then it is extremely strange why the firm is absent from Gurgaon, the world's largest BPO centre, and rather operates in places such as Hyderabad and Mumbai.

According to the official website of Wayman Mitchell, the founder of the Fellowship,
"Every believer has a personal responsibility to win souls into God's Kingdom." Simply put, each one should get as many converts as possible into the Christian fold.

In January 2002, a US publication, Charisma, reported about a split in the Potter's House movement, officially called Christian Fellowship Ministries. The magazine reported that those who split were upset because the leadership was "controlling, intimidating and manipulative" and the leader himself routinely uses foul language and derogatory remarks in the pulpit.

There are references to cases and other controversies involving the movement in the internet. The reports and official websites also speak of the aggressive missions they operate around the world.

If information available from public sources is to be believed, Campbell White's senior operations manager (India) based in Bangalore, David Curwen Walker, is probably a former taxi driver from Australia. But he is certainly the pastor at Door Christian Church in Kammanahalli.

Critics say the group is so puritan that its members are "subjected to manipulation and mind control which is abuse in many ways including spiritual, mental, social, financial, psychological, emotional and even political and physical abuse!" Besides, the internet post argues that the members are told who to marry, where to work, what to buy, etc.

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